Throwback Thursday – Elephant

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Week 3 of The Noughties see’s us go back to The White Stripes

It’s hard to talk about this era, without mentioning one of the biggest bands there was.

As if The White Stripes hadn’t already made a huge impact with their 3 previous albums, ‘Elephant’ took the music that this blues-rock duo to a whole new level, making an even bigger, and longer lasting impact. This album put the band in the history books, and when you listen to it, it’s really obvious why. The album has everything you need. From the slower, acoustic songs, to the overwhelmingly heavy anthems, and everything in-between. This album has it all.

The album kicks off with the duo’s most famous song, the instantly recognisable, ‘Seven Nation Army’. A song that will never be forgotten, and even 15 years after it’s release, when it’s played live, it still feels like something new. It’s not just ‘Seven Nation Army’ that this album is known for though, the album features some of Jack and Meg’s best known work, including, ‘Hardest Button To Button’, a song which featured in their appearance on ‘The Simpsons’, and also ‘Ball and Biscuit’, which really shows how talented Jack White is, and how he can create such an electrifying blues piece, that’s just 7 minutes of well structured noise.

It’s not just sheer instrumental talent with this album though. The album really shows how there is no need for all this modern equipment to get a good record. All you need is pre-1963 recording equipment, a band with an equally old sound, and someone who is willing to break out of the ordinary in order to get the best sound for the music they create. Without the persistence of Jack White, and his obsession with old recording equipment, and vintage guitars and amps, this album wouldn’t have been the same. The old equipment creates the raw sound that this band need. The bluesy guitar, the heavy use of distortion, the vocals that are perfectly reminiscent of the Blues, and the simple drums, all contribute to getting that raw sound the band are so famous for, but without the recording techniques, the band wouldn’t have the same sound.

With this album, it felt like you got closer to the band. It felt more intimate, and the slower songs from this album are what create this feeling. Especially, ‘In The Cold, Cold Night’, where Meg takes the limelight, and her soft vocals really pull you in, getting every emotion of the song across beautifully. The album then continues with, ‘I Want To Be The Boy…’ which although slightly heavier than the previous song, still has that laid back, more emotional feel to it, that really drags you into each song, creating a story rather than an album. Then there is the lullaby style ‘You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket’, where you can really hear the pain in the Jack’s vocals, further adding to the broken love story this album creates.

This album has something for everyone, and something for every mood. Whether your in the mood for heavy, driving, overdriven riffs, or more relaxed, emotional songs, this album has both, and everything in-between. For me, it’s one of the best, and most important albums of the Noughties, and is definitely in my top 10 of all time.

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